Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Watercolor on Yupo

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Abstracted Azure sold too soon!
I am really having fun with watercolor on Yupo. Yupo is a slick, synthetic paper that has wonderful lifting ability. With watercolor and the use of objects such as Q-tips, plastic embroidery grids, corrugated cardboard and other tools you will learn to create unusual textures with watercolor on Yupo. My first Abstract painting on Yupo, "Abstracted Azure",  won a second place award the first month I showed it in Galveston. The second month I showed it in Houston, it sold! I was a bit sorry to see it go. That's why it is important for artists to get a good photograph of their work before framing. If it sells you have the option to sell prints of it after the original sells. Some people may not be able to house or even afford original art. With a print, it can be sized down to a proportional dimension to fit their wall and their budget

The Gator's texture is easy with Yupo.
My second painting on Yupo was the Gator to the right. I got a lot of wonderful texture using sponges, plastic brushes that look like spatulas and paper towels. I was happy to hear that "Gator" won both and honorable mention in Texas City and a first place ribbon in Baytown. My third painting on Yupo didn't come out to my liking. Did I worry, no—I just took it to the sink and washed it right off the paper. I have found that some of the colors like Alizarin Crimson and French Ultramarine Blue do stain slightly but it will be covered up with my next creation!
The other thing to be cautioned about is that Yupo fingerprints easily. The paint doesn't adhere to the oils on the paper from your fingers. That being said, It can create texture and happy accidents that you just can't get with  Oil or Acrylic paint. You really can’t go wrong. If you don’t like what you have created, simply wipe it back to the white of the paper and start over. So relax and discover the joys of painting on Yupo.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Cancer Portrait Series

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On November 18, 2016, I will be a 5-year Breast Cancer Survivor!

Since my first love is portraiture, I feel the need to celebrate this point in my life by painting a series of portraits of those who have—or have had cancer.
My plan is to show each painting for 2-years and then donate the portrait to the survivor, or the family of those who don't win the fight.

I presented this idea at a talk I gave last night in Galveston, and got my first volunteer! Please let me know what you think about this idea. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please contact me through my Web site,

Monday, August 17, 2015

Deep Reflection

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Here is the progression of Deep Reflection. Day one—a Value Study using one color to draw and shade,

Day two—add color, Day three—refine color and drawing, Day four—check composition (I softened the triangle on the right-thought it was distracting and lead the eye out of the painting) I also added highlights and glasses!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Value of Value Studies

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When I start a painting, I often do a value study. This is simply a monochromatic version of the painting which lets me know where the darks, mid tones and lights should go. I've found the value study greatly enhance the success of the painting. Value studies familiarize me with the subject matter, the drawing and often the contrast that results increases the depth in a painting.  

On the left you have the Value study of a rose I wanted to paint. I started with the darkest darks and proceed to the lightest lights.

I was working on a toned ground with a pale wash of yellow ochre so that the yellow is my lightest area. You can also have the  toned ground act as the mid tone, burnt umber as your darkest area and white as your lightest value. 

Once the value study is done to your liking, let it dry completely and then go over the values you put down with color. To the right is a finished painting with the colors painted in to create a finished painting with color value and depth. It is very Important to have a range of contrast in your paintings from the darkest to the lightest to truly show off the colors.

With a value study the dark areas are usually darker than you would have logically done without it. If you squint your eyes you simplify large areas making it easier to see mid tones, light tones and shadows. 

If you are new to value studies try adjusting your photograph to black and white and use it to paint your value study before adding color. I know you just want to jump in there with colors at the get go, but doing a value study will make sing!

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Daily Painting

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I enjoyed a great workshop this past week with Carol Marine. Even though we worked small  6x6" or 8x8", getting a painting done in a day was a challenge. 

To give myself a break, it wasn't a whole day because Carol did a demo or 2 each day. We painted shoes, a still life, flowers, people and a wrapped package. Carol taught me to pay attention to value and to start over if the drawing wasn't quite right. I did that a lot. 

Carol was right. I got better with each do-over. I painted 7 canvases in 5, 1/2 days. Below aremy somewhat successful attempts. Sue Bown did a great job feeding us 3 squares a day at "Bide a While". All in all it was a great experience. 
My beloved boots

Flower de jour

A rose is a rose is a rose

My first wrapped package

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cuppa Jo Day 3

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This is what I did today on Cuppa Jo. The hands look better, but still need a tiny bit of work. I added a sign to the right site to bring some of the blue color to that side of the painting for color balance—it needs A bit more futzing. I added detail to the plant... I like the purple. What a surprise! The perspective needs tightening up and the shoes need some contrast, but we are getting there—slowly but surely

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cuppa Jo

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I shot this photo in Galveston and got a good start on the painting yesterday and today.  The hands, face and perspective all need work. Consider it a work in progress. I have to let it dry before I go any further—I hate it when that happens. I should have several paintings going at once!  Hopefully I will post the finished painting soon.